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Archive For June 29, 2014

Ch-ch-ch Changes!

The question that I am asking myself lately is, “Are things in my business and life in alignment with my personal truth and vision?”

 

In other words – Am I being true to myself? Which is a very important question if we are going to walk our talk in our lives and businesses.

 

There have been a few things that have stood out to me as I do this inventory: community, place, artistry, and commitment. I have been looking at the local food movement, the holistic and integrative care models, community arts, and qualitative research methods. 

 

In general, I have been looking to sharpen my intention around how much healing effect business can have and how much it can improve our quality of life.

I think money is a very important part of business. But if it becomes the most important part of business, maybe that is not for everyone. I am taking a stand for a business model that is not about creating another corporations but creating a lifestyle.

 

No, sweeping changes but I foresee some fabulous adjustments in the upcoming year. Some of which, you will be seeing sooner rather than later. And the best part about it is that every step I take in this direction the more fabulous things get. I can’t wait to keep updating you as I make this transition through the month of July!

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Where Did You Lose Your Creativity?

We’ve all been there…that notorious, stubborn-as-hell CREATIVE BLOCK. Whether it’s coming up with a new brand design, a new product for your business, or writing content for your event… not all of us are the Steve Jobs’ and Suzanne Evans’ of the world who have grandeur ideas coming out their ears… and constantly! It can be frustrating and challenging to always be “on” and continually have new and fresh ideas coming, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck.

I have four awesome ways to bust down that creative block and get you back to flow with the creativity and ideas for your business and design.

Creative Block Buster #1: Question Everything.
What are you stuck on? Is it a new product you’re trying to get out the door? Or maybe a new branding for a service you’re offering? Whatever it is you have to ask all the questions around it. For example, say you’re creating a new product for your clients, ask yourself: Will this be a digital or physical product? How many nuggets of information do I want to include? Will I cover one specific subject or many? Write it all down. Doing this, no matter what it is you’re creating or designing, will really start to break down that wall and get you out of feeling stuck.

Creative Block Buster #2: Reverse Engineering
Sometimes it’s easier to start with the end product or idea and build out the “how do we do this” parts. We actually did this with Suzanne and Larry Winget’s event, Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Make Money! Suzanne had an awesome idea to “American Idolize” the registration process and we knew what they’d get at the end of the process but we weren’t quite sure how to do it. So, we thought about the end product and started putting the pieces together backwards. It really got us out of the box and helped the ideas flow.

Creative Block Buster #3: Take a Break and GET OUT
I know what you’re thinking…that seems counterproductive? Well it simply isn’t. Sometimes getting out of your “zone” really helps get the creativity and idea brainstorm flowing. Pick a place that you like and really enjoy visiting. It could be a park, or the mall, an art gallery, or even a friend’s house. Go there and then just hang out, take it in, get your mind of work a little, and start looking for things that really inspire you in that space. Trust me, something will watch your eye and Voila! You’ll have solved your creative problem and be back in business!

Creative Block Buster #4: Bounce.
Get out of your head and bounce. Bounce ideas off of someone, it could be a coworker, business partner, friend, or spouse…but whoever it is make sure they support you in your success and that they will be upfront and honest with you in giving feedback. This is a great way for someone to give you a different perspective if you’re stuck. You could be mulling an idea over and over in your mind and not moving forward and all you need it someone to say, “Well, what if you tried this?”

Happy Block Busting!

reblogged from Suzanne Evans

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The Happiness – Success Connection

Positive psychology expert Shawn Achor — explained this week on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, “Happiness is the joy we feel on the way to reaching our highest potential, and happiness is a choice. “ I couldn’t agree more.  If happiness is defined only by outer goals and events, it will be fleeting, unsatisfying and unsustainable.  On the other hand, if you can redefine happiness (and choose to see it) as the feeling you experience as you strive to reach your highest self and highest potential – now that’s something deep, enduring, and enlivening.

Shawn’s extensive research and other recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that our society’s concept of happiness (work hard and you’ll be successful, and happiness will follow) is completely backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just fluff.  This important discovery has been borne out repeatedly by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the world. 

Shawn teaches how we can – in five easy steps — reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work and create more success, happiness and reward in our lives. These steps are:

  • 1. Bring gratitude to mind – Write down three new things that you are grateful for each day
  • 2.  Journal – About a positive experience you’ve had recently for 2 minutes once a day
  • 3.  Exercise –  Engage in 15 minutes of mindful cardio activity
  • 4.  Meditate – Watch your breath go in and out for 2 minutes a day
  • 5.  Engage in a random, conscious act of kindness –  For example, write a 2-minute positive email thanking a friend or colleague, or compliment someone you admire on social media
    • Do these steps for 21 days, and you will begin to see a lasting shift in your mindset towards more positivity and happiness.

      An excerpt from the article “8 Inner Keys to Greater Career Happiness and Success” at Content Loop.

5 Ways To Give Yourself A Confidence Boost

Most people agree that self-confidence is one of the most important factors in how well we do in life. We are born with perfect self-confidence, but that is eroded by many factors as we grow up.

Instead of focusing on the things that drag down our confidence, it is important to remember the things that boost it. Whether we are going to a job interview, a first date, giving a speech, or just getting through the day, there are some basic ways that we can give ourselves that extra boost of confidence that will win the day:

1. FOCUS ON WINS
Have reminders of your achievements in full view so you can see them every night before going to bed and every morning when you wake up. They can be trophies, awards achieved, or anything that you are proud of. If you have no visible record, write down at least five things you are proud having achieved and post them by the mirror in your bathroom and on the wall in your workplace.

2. REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE PROUD OF
List all the things you are proud of. What can you put on your résumé? What did you do that took courage?
Perhaps you moved away from your family, struck out on your own, or left an abusive relationship. Things that others would be afraid of doing, but you did them. How about the people you helped? Or maybe things you didn’t do, like say negative things about someone when everyone else was. Have you gone out of your way to help someone, when others might not have?
List these things and read them whenever you face a situation where you will need all your confidence.

3. ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BEST
Give your best in all situations. The outcome may not be what you wanted, but you will come away feeling good about yourself–every time you do you will come away a stronger person.
Stand up for what you believe in and what is right. Defend someone who is weaker, someone who is being bullied, or someone being treated unfairly. Resist the urge to go along just to get along. Be true to yourself and you will respect yourself and earn respect from those that matter.

4. JUST DO IT
We all are afraid of doing unfamiliar things for the first time, but those who succeed do things they have a fear of doing.
Get into the habit of pushing your comfort zone and doing things you are a little bit frightened to do. Make a list of something every week and every month. They don’t have to be huge but require some courage for you to do.
Try taking a dancing class, going to a movie alone, or starting a conversation with a stranger. See how it makes you feel after. Keep track of these things on a calendar. Review them every so often, or before that big date, interview, or event that is going to demand all the confidence you can muster.

5. KEEP BUILDING YOUR WINS
Don’t get into comparing your win with that of others. Your achievement is as important as anyone else’s.
Only share what you are doing with those that totally support you. Confidence builds upon itself, and the more you think you can do, the more you will attempt and be successful at.
Keep adding to your win list and watch yourself soar.

Harvey Deutschendorf is an emotional intelligence expert, speaker, and internationally published author of THE OTHER KIND OF SMART, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success, published by AMACOM of New York and found at www.theotherkindofsmart.com. He writes a monthly column for HRProfessionals Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy.

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The Difference Between Professionals and Amateurs

Have you ever wondered what makes the difference between successful people and people that are still struggling?

Have you ever wondered what makes the difference between professionals and amateurs?

There is only one skill that makes the difference!

There is only one skill that is so valuable that it would make you standout in any area of life, no matter what kind of competition you face.

I realized that amateurs do remarkable projects on an inconsistent basis, while professionals do a great job on a consistent basis!

Do you tell yourself you can only do great work when you are excited and motivated and that you cannot do it every day and all the time?

That’s the difference between a professional and an amateur:

Professionals CHOOSE to be excited and motivated every single day in life.

It doesn’t matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when you’re motivated, then you’ll never be consistent enough to become a professional.

The ability to show up everyday, stick to the schedule, and do the work — especially when you don’t feel like it — is so valuable that it is literally all you need to become better 99% of the time.

The main difference between professional and amateurs is their attitude towards how they approach their goals and plans.

A-Schedule-for-Those-Who-Cant-Stick-to-a-Schedule
Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work towards it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the emergencies of life.

Being a pro is about having the discipline to commit to what is important to you instead of merely saying something is important to you.

It’s about starting when you feel like stopping, not because you want to work more, but because your goal is important enough to you that you don’t simply work on it when it’s convenient.

Becoming a pro is about making your priorities a reality.

Make no mistakes – becoming a pro doesn’t mean you’re a workaholic. It means that you’re good at making time for what matters to you — especially when you don’t feel like it!

It’s taking charge of your life and NOT playing the role of a victim and letting life happen to you.

Here are 3 steps in becoming a Professional:

1. Decide what you want to be good at.
Purpose is everything. If you know what you want, then getting it is much easier. This sounds simple, but in my experience even people who are smart, creative, and talented rarely know exactly what they are working for and why.

2. Set a schedule for your actions.
Once you know what you want, set a schedule for actually doing it.

Beware: Don’t make the same mistake I have made, which is setting a schedule based on results.

Don’t map out how much weight you want to lose each week or how much money you want to make. “Lose 5 kilo” is not an action you can perform. “Go to the gym twice a week” is an action you can perform.

You want to set a schedule based on actions you can do, not results that you want.

3. Don’t break the chain
Stick to your schedule for one week. Stop thinking about how hard it will be to follow a schedule for a month or a year. Just follow it for this week. For the next 7 days, don’t let distractions get in the way.

Setting a schedule doesn’t make you a professional, following it does.

Don’t be a writer, be writing. Don’t be a business owner, do business. For one week, do the things you want to do without letting life get in the way.

Next week, start again.

Now I’m curious…

What schedule would you commit to, in the coming 7 days, that would put you on the track in becoming a pro?

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What Are We ALL Looking For?

I love nice things. Especially, hand-crafted, beautiful, unique things. Whether I own them or not, I love being around them. I get bothered by paying a lot of money for something soulless because it is supposed to be a luxury brand. That is not my version of luxury.

Things that are luxurious to me are significant, that have weight, or depth or a certain feel. Some things clearly do have more value and pretending materialism is shallow and surrounding yourself with crap is no better than spending a lot of money on crap. Alan Watts said that we don’t live in a materialistic culture, actually it is the opposite, we horribly mistreat the material. I have to say I agree with him.

So what is this all about? Why do we work hard and try to keep up with the Jones’? Or why do we run away from it all and sneer at the the passersby headed to work while we clutch our poverty? Why is it that every last person I talk with is in some way conflicted about making a good living?

What is it that we are all looking for?

   

I belong to an industry that is selling the dream. The dream of the perfect life, the perfect work, unlimited happiness and money.

No matter what you are desiring for your work or personal life, something is driving you. Sometimes we can see something in ourselves or our life that we want to change. Sometimes we want to right an apparent wrong in the world. Sometimes we want to feel successful or be more comfortable. But no matter how you slice it, it is a ‘more’ or ‘better’ version that we are looking for.

The problem is that this drive is often so unconscious that we are compelled by it with out knowing what is compelling us. It guides our entire life and we don’t even know how it came to be inside of us. Next thing we know, we are taking another self help class. Or, dreaming of the next big step in our business. Or, or, or.

In and of itself this is not bad – wanting more for ourselves can be great. The problem is that when we live from dissatisfaction with what is, we never end up being satisfied. This means no matter what we get its not enough. This is definitely something to avoid.

The solution to this problem is not to avoid what is, or put it down for something better but rather to develop things out of love –to craft them, make them beautiful or poignant, or unique. This means that we strive for change because of deep love rather than a fear or dislike.

Being motivated by love rather than dissatisfaction changes the quality of our world for the better. It does not get rid of the quest for growth, but it allows us to embrace and appreciate ourselves and our lives in the present moment as well.

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15 Ways To Step Into Your Greatness

  1. Be Present – Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, be all there. Be present. In the moment. Eliminate distractions.
  2. Show Up Early – Take the necessary action steps to map out your route and arrive to places early. Lead by example and respect other people’s time.
  3. Look Sharp – First impressions are very important. Take good care of yourself and dress sharp.
  4. Be Prepared and Proactive – You have to be quick on your feet. Be prepared and always be ready to over-deliver. Because you never know what is going to come at you.
  5. The Quality of Your Words is Key – It is not how much you say, but the quality of what you say that counts.
  6. Confidence is Key – A humble but confident person is an extraordinary person. Take great pride in what you do and be proud of who you are.
  7. Keep your Integrity – Make the decision in life to always go with what is best for your life. Always keep your integrity in life.
  8. Give to others – Whatever you do in life, look at how you can contribute to other’s success and happiness.
  9. Celebrate your Uniqueness – Your differences to others is what makes you extraordinary. Don’t try to blend in. Celebrate who you are.  Your imperfections and all.
  10. Own Your Life. – You’ve got one life. So own it. Take responsibility for it. Create it how you want it. Really Live It.
  11. Always Be a Student of Life -Always strive to learn and grow through life. You can never learn enough in life.
  12. Respect Others – Don’t judge. Respect others. Be always acutely aware of where you came from. As quickly as you can rise, you can fall down.
  13. Be a Mentor – Be that person that people learn from. Be an inspiration to others. Be there for them.
  14. Have Balance. – Establish a life that has a healthy balance that works for your life.
  15. Walk the Talk – Lead by example. Don’t just talk about things. Get busy and take action on things!

reblogged from smartchic.com

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A Powerful Trick to Being Richer, Happier, and More Deeply Fulfilled

The Truth

Yup! The truth is an often-overlooked key to success. Here are three reasons why:

Reason #1: The Truth Keeps You in Integrity

Oh, what tangled webs we weave! If the purpose of personal growth is to see ourselves and others clearly, then lies definitely get in the way. When we lie, we get out of integrity with ourselves. We could almost say that we lose a piece of ourselves in the process of lying.

Reason #2: The Truth Connects You

Some people like to convince themselves that small lies don’t really hurt anyone. But what is the real price of being dishonest? Distance. When we are dishonest with others it is like saying we don’t want to see a part of someone or we don’t want them to see a part of us. It is a judgment that the other person is not strong enough to deal with the reality of things — or that we aren’t, either.

Reason #3: The Truth Makes You Money

I think it is safe to say we are all sick of hype and distortions of the truth that are in our face every single day. The bottom line is that, no matter what you do for a living, being truthful earns you big points with others. If you tell the truth, people can count on you — not to be sold to — but to help them make the choices they need to make to get what they want.

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You Have Not Been Betrayed

I just want to take a moment to have gratitude for all the great dogs that are or have been in my life and the lives of people I know. I am writing this from outside a vet office where a dog I love very much is being tested for Leukemia. If she has it again, at this point there is no treatment and this brings me to my topic for the week.

Spring can be a weird time to talk about loss but loss happens regardless of the time of year. What I think is even more weird is when we pretend that loss is not supposed to happen. That somehow we are justified in feeling betrayed by life itself if we are confronted with loss. This is actually the source of more pain than the original loss.

Unfortunately, when we grow we not only gain we also loose. It needs to be like this. We heal ourselves and what we created no longer serves is. It no longer fits. Sometimes it falls away gracefully and easily and other times it is dramatic or painful.

It is easy in all of the transformation to pay attention to the wrong things. It is easy to get consumed with emotions. But there is an alternative.

In everything that is going on there is a place of calm. A place of truth. If we can anchor our attention in this place then the situations around us are simply that – situations around us. We are connected to what is deeper and more meaningful, what is leading us and pulling us to our greatness because this never leaves us.

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Ten Steps To A Happier Life

  1. Lighten up! Don’t get your panties in a wad about every little thing that happens.
  2. Forget blame. You can fix the blame or you can fix the problem. Spend your time fixing the problem.
  3. Forget guilt. Guilt serves little purpose. If you messed up, apologize and move on.
  4. Forget luck. Lucky people are those who are prepared, recognize opportunities and then act on those opportunities.
  5. Give up the constant need to be right. Pick your battles. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the fight. Besides, sometimes you’re wrong.
  6. Scope up. Pettiness is unattractive on all levels.
  7. Rise above the approval of others. You are never going to to make everyone happy anyway so stop trying.
  8. Forgive. You can’t be happy when you are full of anger and resentment. Get over it. Forgive them for your sake, not theirs.
  9. Get healthy and stay that way. It’s hard to be happy and sick at the same time.
  10. Stop looking for things outside yourself to make you happy. Happiness comes from within.

Based on an excerpt fromPeople Are Idiots And I Can Prove It.

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